It Is What It Is – Not

I know someone who keeps saying, “It is what it is.”  Apparently she’s said it so much, that someone got her, or she herself obtained, a wood plaque with these five words.  This plaque is the only art or tchotchke which she has in her kitchen.

For over two years now, when fumbling for an answer to a question, or when things go wrong, this motto is her standard response.   As the current president of a nonprofit on which we both sit on the board of directors, this knee-jerk response has not sat well with me.  During a board meeting, I asked her why she keeps saying this.

I mean, come on – how is an organization gonna get anywhere when a board director, the president of a nonprofit to boot, has this kind of attitude?  Huh?

She looked at me as if I was crazy.  Then she heaved a big sigh.  As if explaining some difficult concept to a small child, she finally told me, because it IS what it is.

No, no, no, no, no.  This statement is not a magic wand.  Speaking these words does not answer the question or fix the problem.  What this phrase or motto says to me is, “I don’t give a darn.”  Or, “Not my problem.”  It’s a cop out.

Although I do understand there are some things in life which do not change (the sun rising every morning), and there are many things in life that we may not like but would be very difficult to change (paying taxes), we humans have brains and opposable thumbs.  We CAN change things.  We CAN improve our lot.  And with instant, worldwide communication, a single person’s actions can have a huge impact.  A greater impact than even 15 years ago.  Joe Blow in the middle of nowhere can post something to social media or start an online petition and BOOM – Joe Blow’s just brought attention to X issue and has thereby forced the persons responsible for that issue to rethink their position, take Joe Blow’s suggestions to heart, and resolve the issue.

It need not be what it is.

Especially, if what it is is should NOT be what it is.

Distracted. Again.

My S.O. brought over an unfrozen turkey on Tuesday.  As I had requested.  I had wanted to avoid the past error of trying to cook a frozen turkey on the afternoon of Thanksgiving.  After cleaning the turkey, I put it into a stock pot and filled the pot with water and kosher salt.  Then realized I’d have to remove two refrigerator shelves and clear out half of the bottom shelf just to place the stock pot in the fridge.

But, before I could clear all that space in the fridge, I had to do something with all of the perishables that would need to be removed.  I could use some to make dinner that night and others by starting other Thanksgiving items, so temporarily put the stock pot under the kitchen table.  In a dinky, little kitchen like mine, real estate is at a premium, so the free space under the table was the perfect place to put the turkey.

Or so I thought.  Out of sight.  Out of mind.  You guessed it – I didn’t remember the turkey had been sitting under the table until Wednesday night.  Actually, more like early this morning.  After crawling into bed.  Some 33 hours after the raw turkey had arrived at my house.  Which had been after a 25 mile trip from my S.O.’s house.

Good-humored S.O. is now heading over, stopping first at the grocery store to pick up a whole chicken.

Happy Turkey or Chicken Day All!